Morning Reading List, 08.04.08

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Good morning Washington.

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We’ve got your morning mix of media Muesli after the jump…

It’s Helen Thomas’s birthday!

You love how slow it gets in August in D.C. Sunday was the birthday of Washington Life’s Michael Clements and Tuesday is the birthday of Taylor Griffin. Which journos can be seen in “Rock the Vote”?BLIND ITEM: What journo ended the latest congressional session by saying, “Session’s over, man. Reid dropped the big one. Adjournment vote. Your gas prices are going nowhere but up”? Deb Howell thinks the Post’s coverage has skewed towards Sen. Barack Obama lately. We asked The Hill what kind of traffic spike resulted in its popular “50 Most Beautiful People on Capitol Hill” feature. Says Hugo Gurdon: “We always get high web traffic on the day that the 50 Most Beautiful comes out, but the feature has an unusual long-term appeal, pulling
in visitors month after month. The uptick on publication day is nice, but the spikes for hard news stories that we break are orders of magnitude higher.” Friday was the birthday of Josie Duckett. A reader sent us this and said, “Never thought I would ever hear Chris Cillizza sing and on top of that, singing well.” Also, a reader tells us, “Check out Cillizza’s out of office reply: ‘I will be out of the country from Aug. 1 to Aug. 10 and will be checking email only occasionally (if at all) during that time. Unless you are Barack Obama or John McCain emailing to give me your veep pick, I won’t likely respond until I return. Thanks, Chris”‘ In a roundtable interview last week, POTUS said, “I’ve got to go to the electronic media, with people who have got beautiful faces.” (Laughter.) Today’s “Angry Journalist” rant of the day: “I hate that lately I keep being given stories on someone else’s beat just because they don’t want to do it now that they have some sort of manager title behind their name. What an ass! Basically, if they think that the story is total B.S., now they just give it to me and stick me with more work to do. Hell, thy name is middle-management.” Check out today’s White House Photo of the Day from Time.

Quickly navigate Morning Reading List:



  • Friday is Brendan Conway’s last day at The Washington Times. He and his wife are relocating to New York.

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  • The Straight Talk Express isn’t very talkative.

  • The Washington City Paper’s Erik Wemple has “The skinny on who’s up and who’s down in the Marcus Brauchli Washington Post newsroom”

  • “Local papers shrug at ‘race card’ dispute”

  • Reflections of a Newsosaur asks, “Ironically, struggling newspapers and booming Google both count heavily on the same source for much of the news that fills their columns and populates their pixels: The Associated Press. But where does the AP get its news? Mostly, from the very newspapers that are trimming back their coverage as they shrink their staffs, according to a spot check of the stories moving on the AP wire last month. If newspaper staffs continue to erode, where will the AP and its clients get the news in the future?”

  • Politico reported last week, “Wonder if any Supreme Court Justices — or a Pauslon or a Bernanke type — will be crossing over to the dark side this evening and walking into what some refer to as ‘enemy territory’ — alternatively called a newsroom. Tonight the NYT is holding an in house reception for retiring journos Linda Greenhouse and Steve Weisman, celebrating their 40 year tenure at the NYT and apparently “some boldface names” are due…”

  • Washingtonian’s Harry Jaffe “dishes on the closing of the Newhouse’s news service DC bureau”

  • Washington Post reports, “Post Co. Reports First Operating Loss in 37 Years”. Business Wire reports, “The Washington Post Company today reported a net loss of $2.7 million ($0.31 loss per share) for its second quarter ended June 29, 2008, compared to net income of $68.8 million ($7.19 per share) for the second quarter of last year.”

  • The AP reports, “Washington Post takes loss in second quarter, covering cost of employee buyouts”

  • WTOP reports, “Metro riders often have to brush aside newspapers left behind on trains and buses, but it has become such an issue that the transit agency took the case straight to the newspapers themselves.”

  • Washington City Paper’s City Desk reports, “Post Staffers Hectoring Express Readers One by One”

  • The New York Observer reports, “Washington Post Editors, Seeking Web Advice, Visit the Rival New York Times”

  • “USC Annenberg’s Center on Communication Leadership and POLITICO present a discussion with leading journalists and political strategists at the Republican National Convention in Saint Paul, MN. The discussion will be led by Geoffrey Cowan, University Professor and Annenberg Family Chair in Communication Leadership and Jim VandeHei, executive editor, POLITICO. Panelists include Nina Easton, Washington Bureau Chief, FORTUNE and Mark McKinnon, president, Maverick Media. This event is co-sponsored by Minnesota Public Radio.” To RSVP, click here.

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  • A release announced, “According to Nielsen Media Research for the week of July 21, 2008, ABC News’ ‘Nightline’ outperformed CBS’ ‘Letterman’ among Total Viewers and Adults 25-54 for the third week in a row.”

  • A release announced, “According to Nielsen Media Research data, ‘Meet the Press’ was the most-watched Sunday morning public affairs program, winning the week ending Sunday, July 27, 2008 in all categories. On Sunday, the Brokaw-moderated program was No. 1, averaging 3.825 million total viewers”

  • A release announced, “The networks of NBC News — NBC, MSNBC, CNBC,
    Telemundo, and NBC Mobile — will present more than 200 total hours of live coverage of the Democratic National Convention, Aug. 25-28, and the Republican National Convention, Sept. 1-4. ‘NBC Nightly News’ anchor Brian
    leads the network’s four nights of coverage from each convention, while MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews anchor coverage on cable. Tom Brokaw, who has covered every presidential election since 1968, will contribute unparalleled reporting and analysis on both the NBC network and
    on MSNBC throughout both conventions.”

  • TVNewser answers the question, “What’s With That Dot On MSNBC?”

  • The Wall Street Journal reports, “Tribune Co. is slashing staff and space at newspapers across the country. But in another old-media business — local television news — it’s moving in the opposite direction. Nearly half of Tribune’s 23 broadcast stations are expanding or launching local news operations, many of them hiring staff as a result. The biggest investment is in KSWB-TV in San Diego, which has hired a staff of nearly 50 to produce the station’s first in-house news broadcasts in nearly three years.”

  • The Washington Post reports, “The day his son was born — June 29, 2007 –was one of the happiest of Bret Baier’s life. One day later, the Fox News White House correspondent discovered that the baby had five life-threatening congenital heart defects. … Paul Francis Baier is now a bouncing 13-mouth-old with a mighty grateful family: Children’s National Medical Center announced yesterday that Baier, his wife, Amy, and in-laws Paul and Barbara Hills have donated $1 million to the hospital.”

  • TVNewser’s Chris Ariens asks, “Why Is John King Getting Airtime Beyond CNN?”

  • PBS Ombudsman Michael Getler writes, “Last week’s column about a segment on the NewsHour moderated by Margaret Warner with guests Max Boot and Lawrence Korb — informal campaign advisers, respectively, to Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama — included several letters that were sharply critical of the way this discussion was handled and Boot’s domination of the time and talking points. The dispute continues in this week’s Mailbag, with viewers offering different perspectives on that segment, taking issue with some of my assessments, and expressing a point that is actually heard rather frequently: the frustration of listening to representatives of opposing political candidates in the same segment.”

  • TVNewser reports, “ announced Nielsen named it the ‘No. 1 news gateway’ for June. It is the 19th straight month is on top.”

  • This weekend, RCN Corporation sponsored RCN Night at the D.C. United match on August 2. “As part of RCN Night, the first 10,000 fans” received “a rally towel that can be waived to cheer on the Nation’s Capital’s premier local professional soccer team.”

  • The New York Times reports, “Cable news networks may never agree which program is fairer and more balanced, which talking head is the puppet of whose talking points, whether John McCain, in his latest advertisement, was undignified or whether Barack Obama, on his European tour, was presumptuous. But on one crucial point, the pundits have surprisingly taken the same position. Purple is in. Keith Olbermann, the commentator on MSNBC, has worn solid pale purple ties twice in the last week. And on Tuesday, he wore another one with purple stripes. Lester Holt, the weekend anchor of NBC Nightly News, appeared on camera in a more vibrant shade, approaching magenta. Over on Fox News, pretty much the polar opposite on the political spectrum, Bill O’Reilly was in shiny grape, and Kelly Wright, an anchor of ‘Fox and Friends Weekend,’ showed that purple is bipartisan. Is a color that represents the middle ground between Republican Red and Democratic Blue a sartorial statement of objectivity? ‘Purple is the new neutral,’ said Jim Moore, the creative director of GQ, who was making a point with two meanings.”

  • TVNewser’s Chris Ariens reports, “Of Broadcasters, Only CBS Takes Pres. Bush Iraq Statement”

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  • The Wall Street Journal reports, “In an effort to make up for their plunging print-ad revenues, newspaper companies have been scrambling to train their sales teams in the intricacies of selling online ads to local marketers.”

  • MediaShift’s Idea Lab reports, “Is Twitter the Newsroom of the Future?”

  • TNR reports, “Have you ever been reading Slate and found yourself thinking, ‘This is great, but if only if were more conservative…’? Then LibertyWire is for you! The new online publication, being launched in mid-August, is billing itself as ‘a conservative version of Slate.'”

  • Last week, “House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH) sent a letter to Kevin Martin, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), urging him to keep the Internet free of new Washington regulation. He issued the following statement accompanying the letter: ‘Recent media reports indicate the FCC is poised for massive, unprecedented regulation of the Internet. This dangerous path would limit freedom, stifle innovation and entrepreneurship, and kill American jobs. Internet regulation is a solution in search of a problem. We should maintain the ‘hands off’ approach that has served the Internet, the American people, and our economy so well. The wild success of the Internet and the wireless industry are perfect examples of what happens when entrepreneurship and innovation are allowed to flourish. Endangering ongoing innovation in our economy by crushing the entrepreneurial spirit of the American people is the wrong approach, pure and simple.'”

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  • Check out “Magazines of the Future,” a “interactive discussion with leading editors and publishers who will discuss their digital strategies, what is working (or not), and how the changes are affecting the future of their brand and their bottom line.”

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  • reports, “A bill to permanently ban the ‘Fairness Doctrine’ — a dormant FCC rule that says broadcasters, mainly talk radio, must grant equal air time to opposing viewpoints — probably will not be voted on this year in Congress, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) told on Wednesday.”

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  • The Pew Weekly News Interest Index shows, “42% Say Campaign Coverage Biased in Favor of Obama.”

  • Business Week reports, “Summertime, when much of media takes a siesta. But you can’t say that about media’s dealmakers this time around, because they’ve been snoozing all year.”

  • A release announced, “The DC Statehood Green Party held a press conference … in front of the downtown Washington, DC offices of The Washington Post and challenged the newspaper — and all DC area media — to give the party’s candidates fair coverage during the 2008 election season.”

  • RedState questions why the national media has not picked up the story of what is happening in Tennessee’s Ninth Congressional District where Steve Cohen could lose his re-election “not because he has been ineffective in representing his district, but because he is white.”

  • Arianna Huffington on why Judy Miller is “The Wrong Poster Child for a Federal Shield Law.”

  • Hearst reports, “Federal media protection law stalls in Senate”

  • Reporters Without Borders “offers the following practical advice to foreign journalists to help them cover the human rights situation in China.” Also, from a Reporters Without Borders release, “The Chinese authorities confirmed today that the 20,000 foreign journalists covering the Olympic Games will not have unrestricted access to the Internet during their stay.”

  • The New York Times reports, “China to Limit Web Access During Olympic Games”. And from The Washington Post, “IOC Allows China To Limit Reporters’ Access to Internet”

  • The News Observer reports, “It was only three weeks ago that John Edwards was fielding media questions on his chances of filling the Democratic Party’s vice presidential slot on Barack Obama’s ticket or a potential Cabinet position in an Obama administration. On Wednesday, however, the former U.S. senator and 2004 vice presidential nominee was eager to duck the press when the questions took a tabloid turn.”

  • A release announced, “On the eve of the first anniversary of Chauncey Bailey’s murder, Reporters Without Borders is very disappointed that the investigation has not made any progress. Instead, the case has become more complicated as aspects surrounding the motives for Bailey’s murder have been unleashed. Evidence, some recorded by the police and some uncovered by investigative reporters, points at someone other than the currently accused defendant as a potential perpetrator(s) and/or mastermind(s) of the crime, and suggests that local police officials may be protecting those responsible for Mr. Bailey’s death. Reporters Without Borders also disapproves of Oakland Police Chief Tucker and Deputy Chief Howard A. Jordan’s unwillingness to talk to the media. The press freedom organization is launching a petition calling for ‘Justice for Chauncey Bailey’ and urging the Attorney General of the United States of America to take the lead in the case.” To sign the petition, click here.

  • Politico’s Michael Calderone reports, “The Manhattan Institute’s John Leo writes today in the Daily News on the applause level during Barack Obama’s appearance at Unity ’08. … Leo cites several reports, including Editor & Publisher (‘warm and even rousing welcome’); Chicago Public Radio (’30 seconds of applause when he arrived and 40 seconds when he finished his talk’); Honolulu Star-Bulletin (‘many journalists in the audience leapt to their feet and applauded enthusiastically’); and the Chicago Tribune’s ‘The Swamp’ blog (‘received a standing ovation from many in the audience’). But Eugene Kane, writing in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, points out that not everyone in the audience was necessarily a member of the Fourth Estate.”

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  • The Washington Independent is looking for a Part-Time Assistant Blog Editor.

  • U.S. Green Building Council is looking for a Marketing Project Manager.

  • Liquidity Services Inc. is looking for a National Sales Executive.

  • Women for Women International is looking for a Communications Writer, a Communications Officer and a Director of Communications.
  • Restore Media, LLC is looking for an Exhibit Sales Manager.

  • An Interactive marketing and communications agency is looking for an Online Senior Writer/Editor.

  • Atlantic Media Company is looking for a Corporate Analyst.

  • World Bank is looking for a Blog/Web Producer.

  • APCO Worldwide is looking for a Senior Associate/Account Supervisor.

  • Thomas B. Fordham Institute is looking for a New Media Manager.

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    Hat Tips: DCRTV, TVNewser, IWantMedia, Romenesko, MediaBistro, JournalismJobs, JournalismNext, Mic Check Radio, New York Times’ On This Day